A Tale of two Cities

by Charles Dickens


A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris, and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie whom he had never met. The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. In the Introduction to the Encyclopedia of Adventure Fiction, critic Don D'Ammassa argues that it is an adventure novel because the protagonists are in constant danger of being imprisoned or killed. 
As Dickens's best-known work of historical fiction, A Tale of Two Cities is claimed to be one of the best-selling novels of all time. In 2003, the novel was ranked 63rd on the BBC's The Big Read poll. The novel has been adapted for film, television, radio, and the stage, and has continued to influence popular culture. 
Excerpted from A Tale of Two Cities on Wikipedia.

person AuthorCharles Dickens
language CountryUnited Kingdom
api GenreHistorical fictionWar
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book cover"Sydney Carton"
Image: Frederick Barnard|wikipedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg.
description ScansGoogle-digitized.
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
auto_stories Read onlineA TALE OF TWO CITIES
--Read by Paul Adams--

1. Book the First: Recalled to Life
In 1775, a man flags down the nightly mail-coach en route from London to Dover. The man is Jerry Cruncher, an employee of Tellson's Bank in London; he carries a message for Jarvis Lorry, one of the bank's managers. Lorry sends Jerry back with the cryptic response "Recalled to Life", referring to Alexandre Manette, a French physician who has been released from the Bastille after an 18-year imprisonment...


2. Book the Second: The Golden Thread
In 1780, French émigré Charles Darnay is on trial in London for treason against the British Crown. The key witnesses against him are two British spies, John Barsad and Roger Cly. Barsad claims that he would recognise Darnay anywhere, but Darnay's lawyer points out that his colleague in court, Sydney Carton, bears a strong resemblance to the prisoner. With Barsad's testimony thus undermined, Darnay is acquitted...


3. Book the Third: The Track of a Storm
Shortly after Darnay's arrival in Paris, he is denounced as an illegal emigrated aristocrat and jailed in La Force Prison. Hoping to be able to save him, Dr Manette, Lucie and her daughter, Jerry, and Miss Pross all move to Paris and take up lodgings near those of Lorry. Fifteen months later Darnay is finally tried, and Dr Manette – viewed as a popular hero after his long imprisonment in the Bastille – testifies on his behalf. Darnay is acquitted and released, but is re-arrested later that day...